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Surprising Health Benefits And Uses Of Lemon Peels

Lemon is a common citrus fruit that is widely consumed all around the world. While the pulp and juice of the lemon are enjoyed, the peel is discarded with the belief that it is of no use. However, studies have found that citrus peels possess the highest amounts of flavonoid compounds called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) compared to other edible parts of the fruit [1].

Another study showed lemon peel had remarkable antioxidant property [2].

Nutritional Value Of Lemon Peel

100 g of lemon peel contain 81.6 g water, 47 kcal energy and it also contains:

  • 1.5 g protein
  • 0.3 g fat
  • 16 g carbohydrate
  • 10.6 g fibre
  • 4.17 g sugar
  • 134 mg calcium
  • 0.8 mg iron
  • 15 mg magnesium
  • 12 mg phosphorus
  • 160 mg potassium
  • 6 mg sodium
  • 0.25 mg zinc
  • 0.092 mg copper
  • 0.7 mcg selenium
  • 129 mg vitamin C
  • 0.06 mg thiamin
  • 0.08 mg riboflavin
  • 0.4 mg niacin
  • 0.319 mg pantothenic acid
  • 0.172 mg vitamin B6
  • 13 mcg folate
  • 50 IU vitamin A
  • 0.25 mg vitamin E

Health Benefits Of Lemon Peel

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1. Promotes heart health

Lemon peel contains flavonoids, vitamin C and pectin, a type of soluble fibre that may reduce the risk of heart disease. Pectin helps in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol by increasing the excretion of bile acids, which are produced by the liver and inhibit cholesterol absorption [3].

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2. Aids in weight loss

Lemon peels contain pectin which is known to promote weight loss and may slow down the accumulation of fat in the body. Pectin absorbs water and forms a viscous mass, which travels through the stomach and small intestine undigested. This makes you feel full for longer period of time [4].

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3. Improves bone health

Lemon peel contains significant amount of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin C-all these nutrients aid in preventing osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other related bone conditions [5].

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4. Fights cancer

Lemon peel exhibits cancer-fighting properties due to the presence of flavonoids and vitamin C in it. It lowers the risk of several types of cancer and vitamin C may help increase the production of white blood cells, which help in eliminating mutated cancer cells [6].

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5. Boosts immune system

Lemon peel has the ability to strengthen your immunity due to its flavonoid and vitamin C content [7]. If you feel sick, add lemon peel zest into your foods or tea to give that extra boost of energy to your body.

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6. Treats gallstones

Lemon peel contains D-limonene which can help treat gallstones. As per a study, D-limonene has the potent ability to dissolve gallstones-which studies suggest can be an effective alternative to surgery for the treatment of gallstones [8].

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7. Supports oral health

Lemon peel contains antibacterial properties that have the ability to inhibit microorganism growth. Studies have shown that lemon peel has certain compounds that can effectively fight oral diseases caused by bacteria like Streptococcus mutans [9].

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8. Good for the digestive system

The fibre in lemon peel can keep your digestive tract running properly because it helps in proper digestion, lowers stomach inflammation and prevents constipation.

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9. Reduces blood pressure

The essential compounds in lemon peel can reduce high blood pressure according to a study. During the four week study, 60 obese children were supplemented with lemon peel powder that led to reductions in blood pressure [10].

Uses Of Lemon Peel

Apart from the surprising health benefits of lemon peel, it has a number of astounding uses too. These include the following:

  • Used as an all-purpose cleansing solution for cleaning household items.
  • Lemon peels are used for treating acne and other skin problems.
  • Used as an insect repellent
  • Lemon peel is used as a deodorizer to eliminate gross smells.

How To Add Lemon Peel In Your Diet

  • Add lemon zest to baked foods and salads.
  • Grate the lemon peel and sprinkle it on soups, dressings and marinades.
  • Add lemon zest to hot tea or your favourite cocktail.
  • Dehydrate lemon peels and add them to tea or you can make a home-made seasoning by mixing it with salt and pepper.

Lemon Peel Recipe

Candied lemon peels [11]

Ingredients:

  • 3 lemons
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 cups white sugar

Method:

  • Slice lemon peels about ¼ inch thick.
  • Boil the water and lemon peel in a small pan. Drain the water and again boil it with fresh cold water. Repeat this three times.
  • Combine sugar with water and bring it to a boil till the sugar dissolves.
  • Reduce the heat and add the lemon peels. Stir it.
  • Refrigerate the peels to allow them to dry.
  • Enjoy dry candied lemon peels.

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